Sorry for the down time folks – other work has been calling severely of late. However with the ed now back, not refreshed and slightly bedraggled I`ll try to bring you up to speed. Sunday sees us play an unusual role as the team moved due to another`s European commitments. Having spent many Sundays on the road or with shifted kick offs, it`s Everton`s turn to do the dirty on us and force us to kick off on the supposed day of rest. It makes a change from Richard Keys` mob I suppose?
We obviously go into the match off a bit of a humping by Citeh and Arsenal as reality well and truly bites under the new regime. I doubt this is particularly helped by the likes of Joey B fanning the flames and claiming we can be a top four club. Easy tiger. However the plus points ahead of the game are that the injury millstones that have been hampering us seem to be clearing up.
Newcastle Team News:
So far the hitlist sees Cacapa, King of Napa, over his groin injury whilst Barton seems to be closing in on a return following his metatarsal injury. EMO and Duffer have been spotted galloping like a pair of Sheik Maktoum`s horses in the North West so they can`t be far off fitness whilst ‘Robohip` is claiming he can play through the pain. Exit door contenders Carr and Babayaro remain a mixed bag, with the Irishman back in training and the Nigerian having developed full blown ForYourEyeOnly-itus for the foreseeable future. Thanks be to Souness?
Player to watch: Mark ‘The Duke’ Viduka
For us I`ll have to earmark the Duke as the keyman following his brace against West Ham. Looked good, dictated our play and will hope to forge more good links with the Zog at the weekend.
Everton Team News:
As for the Blue Mackems? They`ve just had an interesting visit to the Ukraine, stealing (very appropriate wording for Scousers) through 3-2 in the second leg. Hit man defender Jolean Lescott rattled home his 5th goal of the season, with McFadden and Anichebe also notching to see them through. Perennial diver and penalty misser Andy Johnson remains a doubt with a groin injury but otherwise they are dependent on the physio getting rid of any knocks and bumps after last night`s game.
Player to watch: Jolean Lescott
The man to watch for the Blues has obviously got to be Lescott. Solid at the back, with a recent England call up under his belt, he`s been in startling form already in front of goal, notching five times and proving far more reliable than Yakubu.
Match Facts & Stats
Whistler is Martin Atkinson, fresh from giving Drogba his marching orders in the Gazprom v Harrods derby last weekend.
Prediction? 2-1 to us after a dirty game with at least a sending off.
Spurs (22nd October) at home at a loony time of 8pm Monday.